A high-ranking delegation from Mercedes-Benz Vans’ headquarters in Germany paid a VIP visit to Ciceley Commercials, the manufacturer’s reigning UK Commercial Vehicle Dealer of the Year.
The executives flew in to see at first hand, Britain’s first – and Europe’s second – Mercedes-Benz Van ProCenter.
They toured the state-of-the-art sales and servicing facilities at Ciceley’s flagship dealership in Blackburn, Lancashire, before receiving a presentation detailing the work undertaken by the company to achieve the new standard of excellence, as well as reports on the positive feedback that had come in from customers since.
Ciceley Commercials, which represents the three-pointed star throughout Lancashire and Cumbria, as well as in south-west Scotland, was the first of the four Mercedes-Benz Dealers to have been awarded Van ProCenter status so far. Others are now working towards accreditation.
The Mercedes-Benz Van ProCenter programme is being rolled out across the continent, which is why global head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Volker Mornhinweg and his colleagues, global head of sales & marketing Klaus Maier and head of retail professionalisation Dirk Schwarzer, were so keen to see for themselves how it is being implemented.
Mercedes-Benz Van ProCenters must keep extended opening hours for customer convenience and meet the manufacturer’s strict requirements on everything from sales staff numbers, their training, qualifications and expertise in specific models and business sectors, to advice on bodybuilding options and the availability of a range of Sprinter, Vito and Citan demonstration vehicles for test drives at short notice.
They are also required to demonstrate ‘best-in-class’ brand and product presentation at their premises where, as well as new models, they should also retail a broad range of top-quality used vans and offer customers fair and transparent trade-in deals on their own vehicles.
From an after sales perspective, meanwhile, Van ProCenters must have specially trained service advisors and technicians, and ensure customer mobility by providing replacement vehicles and collection and delivery services.
“This visit was a tremendous honour,” said Ciceley Commercials chief executive Colin Briggs. “Not only did it recognise all of the hard work and commitment demonstrated by our staff to become Britain’s first Mercedes-Benz Van ProCenter, but it has also provided a great opportunity for the people at the very top to hear some of the excellent feedback we’ve been receiving from customers, about the quality of our service.”
Also attending on the day was Mercedes-Benz Vans’ UK managing director Steve Bridge, who declared: “We were quick to embrace the Van ProCenter programme in Britain and Ciceley was only the second Dealer in Europe to gain accreditation.
“The decision of three such senior figures from our parent company to come here recognised that achievement, as well as reflecting the very high importance with which this programme is viewed by Mercedes-Benz.
“The fact that we are ‘ahead of the game’ in this way is a boost not only for Ciceley Commercials and our Vans business, but also for our customers too – the whole point of the Van ProCenter Programme is to provide them with the finest acquisition, ownership and operation experience possible.”
The Van ProCenter Programme is currently being rolled out across Britain and Europe, to bring the highest levels of service and care to Mercedes-Benz Van operators.